Monday, October 5, 2015

September Favorites!

Hello everyone! Long time no ... blog? I'm back with September favorites. I've been getting back into trying out new products and I have a few to share with you. Ready?

First off, oh my goodness these Facial Radiance Pads from First Aid Beauty are amazing. There is no other way around it, these little facials pads full of lactic and glycolic acid make my skin look glowing. When I start feeling like my skin is looking a bit dull and bumpy, I swipe this on at night and wake up to new skin. If you're new to chemical exfoliation, this is a great start as the product is not too strong, but strong enough to see results. I'm also a fan of the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating toner which I've reviewed here. This stuff will change the way you see skincare. I've been using this a lot in September as the change of weather has definitely affected my skin.

Again with the skincare, I've been paying a bit more attention to serums lately. When I saw that Caroline Hirons recommended the Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvenating Face Serum, and it was reasonably priced, I decided to pick it up at my local Shoppers Drug Mart, which luckily, had it in stock, and it was on sale. The serum smells a bit like oranges and cream - it's not offensive, but not my favorite. However, the product works really well. It's light, but also creamy enough to give a bit of moisture to the skin. My mom is also a fan! I use it at night on my oily/combination skin before my moisturizer and wake up with fresh, plump skin. A+

I bought the Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara on a whim. I hadn't bought a waterproof mascara in years and thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to wear on my wedding day. Ya know, in case of tears. I had bought this mascara before in the non-waterproof formula and loved it. Turns out, I was pretty meh about this mascara at first. It gave me no volume and kind of clumped in a bad way. After using it about 5 times, all of a sudden, it started being really good, giving me defined lashes, and some volume. And it really is waterproof - this mascara does not budge. I don't know if the formula had to "settle" after opening, but this product is excellent. And I'm very happy it didn't turn out to be a waste of money too!

The Clinique Just Browsing purchase was a suggestion by a Shoppers Drug Mart associate. I swear, I'm not sponsored by SDM, I just buy a lot of my products there! When asked if I could purchase my usual Clinique Brow Shaper, she informed me that Clinique just came out with the Just Browsing product which is described as a "brush on styling mousse". I thought, heck yes, I'm always up for well defined, full brows. Turns out, this product is the bomb. Sadly, it does use up pretty quicky as I'm already on my second tube. The mousse is light enough that it doesn't feel like you have anything on your brows - no crispyness! - but totally keeps everything in place. Plus, the shade Deep Brown is just perfect for my brows. Highly recommend.

The Stila Color Balm Lipsticks are amazing. While I only own the shade "Isabelle", I wish I owned more. The name of these makes sense - they truly are a balmy lipstick. They feel incredibly moisturizing on the lips, and last quite a long time (4-6hrs). "Isabelle" is the perfect shade of pinky nude and goes with everything. The only thing I'm not so fond of is the minty smell. But it dissipates pretty quickly after you apply the lipstick. Next on my list - the nude shade "Sophie".

And finally, my last monthly favorite is this amazing #160 blush brush from Make Up For Ever. I've owned this brush for a while now, and it is one of my favorites. It's incredibly soft and I love using it to apply my face powder. It's great for a more precise application of product and the wooden handle is of amazing quality. I've washed this brush many times and I have never seen it lose a hair. If you're in the market for some makeup brushes, I highly suggest the ones from Make Up For Ever. You won't be disappointed!

And that concludes my September favorites! What have you been loving this month?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner - A Review

A few weeks ago, my lovely significant other complimented me on my skin. I thanked him, and then started babbling about what I've changed in my skin care routine which he gracefully listened to even if he had no idea what I was talking about. Truth is, I have never liked my skin very much. It's problematic - acne, blackheads, oiliness, scarring are usually the norm. However, about 6 months ago, I told myself I would start taking care of it better. And that new initiative started with the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner.

Recommended by the ever famous skincare/blogger/expert Caroline Hirons, I thought it would be exactly what my skin needed. I has glycolic, salicylic and tartaric acid - in other words, it's meant to exfoliate your skin chemically. Guys, this product is life changing. Since introducing acid toners into my skin care routine, my skin is so much nicer. I use other similar products than the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner in my skin care routine, but the Clarins is my favorite. Here's why:
  • It smells amazing. Some might not like fragrance in their products, but I love the scent of this toner. 
  • It doesn't make my skin feel oily or greasy. Sure, I only apply this a few times a week, at night, but I will never enjoy the gummy/oily feeling of some products on my skin. Either absorb, or go away. This toner skins in beautifully and faster than say, the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, also an acid toner. 
  • When I apply this at night, I wake up with refreshed skin. Refreshed is probably the best way I could describe it as "glowing" seems a bit excessive. But my skin generally looks really good the morning after application.
  • A little goes a long way. Seriously, a very small amount on a cotton pad is plenty.

I've used maybe... 1/4 of the bottle, and I've been using it regularly for about 6 months (and by regularly, I mean a couple times a week). Not bad! If you're looking to jump on the Acid Toner bandwagon, I highly suggest you give this product a try. It is quite pricey at $36, but oh so worth it. Don't forget, glycolic acid can make your skin sun sensitive, so use sunscreen!

Monday, June 22, 2015

MAC Lipstick Love: Call The Hairdresser

Let's be honest here, I have more lipsticks that I'll ever be able to use. Still, when one of those lipsticks, walks (rolls?!) into your life, you can't help but make it to the cash register. This is what happened with MAC's Call The Hairdresser.

To be honest, when I bought it, I had no idea what collection it was from - I sort of tune out MAC's new collections. There's many of them, I can't keep track! But a quick Google search indicates that the lipstick comes from the MAC is Beauty collection.

The lipstick is perfect in texture. Light and semi-glossy, but pigmented, and it wears off beautifully. It actually lasts quite a long time on the lips! Its lasting power surprised me as the lipstick is quite light and comfortable to wear. I still had most of my lipstick on my lunch, and considering I sip coffee and snack all morning at work, that's quite good!

The shade of this is beautiful pinky berry. It's a "my lips but sunburned" shade! Really though, if my lips were sunburned, they would probably be about the shade of this lipstick. It's quite natural looking on my colouring and compliment a lot of different makeup looks.

All and all, definitely a winner from MAC. My first MAC purchase in a year and it turned out to be quite a staple. MAC's still got it!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush - Plum Pop and Melon Pop

Like seriously, who can resist this beautiful packaging. I know I didn't! I bought the Plum Pop colour a few months ago, and a couple weekends ago, while at Sephora picking out a blush for my mother, I saw that they came out with new colours. Aaaaand, I just had to get another one!

Plum Pop on left, and Melon Pop on the right. As you can see, my Plum Pop is well loved!

Clinique has never been a brand to be particularly innovative about their packaging. They've traditionally stuck to the basics for lipsticks, blushes and foundation. But lately, they seem to be having more fun  - the new Clinique Pop Lip Colour's tubes correspond to the colour of the lipstick, and the Chubby Sticks are also have the same concept. I seriously wonder how many people bought these blushes 100% because of the packaging. Probably a lot. They are damn cute.

I love that the lid is clear so you can see the beautiful pattern in the blush. The plastic is very sturdy, and the lid is easy to open and close.

The blushes are pigmented and the colors are gorgeous. I'm especially in love with Plum Pop - it gives such a healthy glow. I can see that Melon Pop will be my summer staple. The soft peachy colour will be perfect with a little BB Cream and mascara for light summer makeup. If I didn't have a million blushes already, I would most certainly buy a lot more shades!

Only tiny complaint about the range - while I was looking for a blush for my mom, I checked the Clinique blushes because I love my Plum Pop shade so much, to see if there was a neutral rosy colour. And there wasn't any! Most of the colours (if not all) have shimmer running through - some are heavier on the shimmer, others are lighter. But not a whole lot of them were appropriate for a more mature skin. And none of them were even close to the rosy shade we were looking for for my mom. Out of 12 shades, that's a bit of a bummer.

Still though, I can't help but think these blushes are excellent value for money. The Clinique Cheek Pop Blushes are $24 in Canada - not a bad price at all for such a beautifully packaged, pigmented product. And, if you're like me, buy them at Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart for points!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Live Clean Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo Review

I meant to write about this glorious product much sooner, but before I knew it, it was March, and, well, where did the time go?!

I love clarifying shampoos. I love that uber clean scalp feeling. It nice to actually feel it in your hair that all the product buildup is gone. That's the feeling I got from using the Live Clean Apple Cider Clarifying shampoo.

First off, it smells of clean apples. I love the scent. I wasn't too sure I'd love it after it lingered in my hair, but truthfully, it smelled very fresh and reminded me of a particular green apple shampoos I used as a kid. Yum!

My hair felt very clean and smooth after using this shampoo. For a shampoo that doesn't contain sulfates, it worked very well - I've always had a hard time using shampoos without sulfates. While I know they are better for you (and the environment!) shampoos without sulfate never really work well with my extremely thick hair - I always seem to not get a good enough lather for a thorough wash and I was always left with oily patches in my hair. Not good. However, this shampoo didn't do that whatsoever - my whole head of hair was clean and smelled amazing. Even better, my hair was really soft and smooth after washing. I've tried other clarifying shampoos that were a little too drying for me - this one left my hair feeling ridiculously healthy! As a person who colors her hair pretty regularly, I've never found this shampoo to have any effect on my hair color - it's gentle as can be!

If you're looking for a great clarifying shampoo of the gentler variety, look no further than the Live Clean Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo. Seriously, I use this gem once every two weeks and it just livens up my hair!